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Over the years, I’ve discovered a lot of great toys—I mean tools!-- that help make homeschooling easier, more organized, or just more enjoyable. Here are some of my favorites.
I love love love my laser printer. I purchased my first one seven years ago when I published my first edition of Super Star Speech. I printed everything at home and sold it in 3-ring binders. I have since moved on to professionally printed spiral bound books, but my first Samsung laser printer was a workhorse, printing many thousands of pages before it died last year. Now I have the Brother HL2280DW—it’s wireless and it makes copies! The great thing about laser printers is how inexpensive pages are to print—just a fraction of the cost of inkjet printers. I currently pay $18 for a generic toner cartridge that will print over 2000 pages. At that cost (and because I get most of my paper free with Staples rebates), I don’t mind printing anything for homeschooling like I used to. And did I mention that it is fast!
Black and white laser printers are priced similarly to color ink jet printers, but the toner is so much cheaper to print with than ink-jet ink, that the savings really add up. I still have my ink-jet printer for the occasional color printing need, but find that black and white is really fine 95% of the time. Brother Printer Wireless Monochrome Printer, Dark Grey (HL2280DW)
This has been a lot of fun, and useful, too. I have so many resources in PDF format that need to be printed out for use. Some resources are only available that way, and others are much cheaper to purchase in an e-book format. Initially, I kept these printed pages in 3 ring binders. That worked fine, but binders take up a lot of shelf space. With my ProClick, I can punch holes for spiral binding my own books, then just twist the coil into the holes in just seconds. The ProClick only punches about 5 sheets at a time, so it’s not super fast, but I love the finished result. With a laminated cover, my printed books look quite professionally done. GBC ProClick P50 Desktop Binding Machine (2515650)
Another fun tool! I’ve laminated all the games and game cards for my homemade games (Super Star Games). We’ve made bookmarks, laminated worksheets for use with dry erase markers, and made covers for the notebooks that I spiral bind with my ProClick.
This is a planner that I put together using my printer, ProClick and laminator. (The cover is laminated scrapbooking paper.)
We use a ten-drawer cart for our workboxes. Initially, I found that this system helped us organize our day better and kept Emily on track with her assignments. Now, we use the cart to organize books by subject. With a drawer for each subject, Emily always knows where to find her books, notebooks, and project materials (assuming things were put away properly!)
What are your favorite homeschool tools?
Read more about “Homeschooling Essentials” this week at the following blogs, or click on the banner below!
Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Jennifer @ Royal Little Lambs
Sarah @ My Joy-Filled Life
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler
Laura @ Four Little Pengins
Dinah @ The Traveling Classroom
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Erin @ Water on the Floor